Tuesday 21 November 2017 ,
Latest News
  • Myanmar hopes for deal with Bangladesh on Rohingyas: Suu Kyi
  • Suicide bomber kills 50 in northeastern Nigeria
  • Draft of judges’ conduct rules sent to SC
  • HC seeks explanation over legality of FF age limit
  • Amnesty accuses Myanmar of imposing ‘apartheid’ on Rohingya
12 September, 2017 08:23:48 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 September, 2017 12:16:34 PM

Print

Sky is the roof, ground the bed

Thousands of Rohingyas pass night under open sky on both sides of roads, hill slopes and croplands
SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS, from Teknaf
Sky is the roof, ground the bed
Hapless Rohingya refugees, driven out of their homes in Rakhine state of Myanmar, sleep under the open sky at Thangkhali in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar yesterday. Independent Photo

Thousands of Rohingya refugees sleeping under the open sky in Ukhiaya and Teknaf upzilas of Cox’s Bazar . It was as if the bare fields of these areas had become a sprawling bed for them.

 As darkness descended, every bit of space was occupied by a sleeping Rohingya or someone waiting to find some space. Open spaces by the roadside, on hill slopes, in jungles and farm yards were full with the newly arrived refugees.

During a visit to the two bordering upazilas of the distict at a little past midnight on Sunday, this correspondent found the plight of these refugess who were not lucky enough to be accommodated in refugee camps operated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf highway.

 Till about 4am, this correspondent visited Ukhiya, Balukhali, Thang Khali, Palong Khali, Whykong, Unchiprang, Raikhion, and Kanjarpara areas.

 Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, mostly women, children and old people, were found sleeping in the open on both sides of roads, hill slopes and croplands.

 Abdul Malek, 60, hailing from Maungdaw, was found preparing to sleep with seven members of his family on a hill slope in Thangkhali next to the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf highway.

“We entered Bangladesh territory through the Shahporirdwip corridor by boat. After halting for four days at Shahpoirirdwip, we reached the Balukhali refugee camp on Sunday.

But we found no place there and thus are staying in the open,” he said.  There were about 200–250 people sleeping on the hill slope. When asked whether he and his family had anything to eat, Abdul said: “We've come here to save our lives as the military and local Buddhists are carrying out brutal torture on us. Here we're living under the open sky, tormented by mosquitoes and other insects.”

Nearby, at Thankhali, four children, aged between three and 11 years, slept huddled together. Their mother, Hasina Begum, sat wide awake, trying to drive away mosquitoes and insets.

“The military picked up my husband. He was imprisoned for four years. Later, they burned our homes. I fled to save the lives of my sons. We're staying here for the past five days,” she said.

Like Malek and Hasina, thousands of Rohingyas, who fled the recent violence in Myanmar, are still living in the open without any shelter, food and sanitation. They are forced to answer nature’s calls in the fields. A stink of human excreta fills the air all along the 86-km-long road.

Following coordinated attacks on over two dozen border guard police outposts and an army base, the Myanmar army began a crackdown, which they described as a drive against extremists.  The operation has so far led to the killing of an estimated 3,000 people, with an unknown number being injured and hundreds being arrested in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

 It has also resulted in about 350,000 people crossing the border into Bangladesh in search of safety. As 400,000 Rohingyas have already been living in Cox’s bazaar for a long time, an additional 350,000 refugees have put enormous pressure on local resources and the administration.

 A dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar’sRakhine state had exhausted the limited capacity in the refugee camps.   The new arrivals are squatting in makeshift shelters that have mushroomed along the road and on available land in Ukhiya and Teknaf areas, said UNHCR in a statement.

 “There is limited space, but the number of Rohingyas is about 7.5 lakh. So, they have scattered to different areas. The government will shift all these refugees under one roof at a nearby camp in Balukhaliu,” Khaled Mahmud, additional district magistrate of Cox’s Bazar, told The Independent yesterday.

KK

 

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said PM Sheikh Hasina must hold negotiations with BNP on the next polls if she wants to have a 'graceful exit' from power. Do you agree?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 66.7%
No 20.8%
No Comment 12.5%
Video
More Bangladesh Stories

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting